What Are Soundproof Windows and How Do They Work?
While completely soundproof windows don’t exist, there are a number of factors that can help you soundproof your home.
What Are Soundproof Windows?
Soundproof windows aren’t able to completely block all noises, but there are a variety of ways to help make your home quieter. Loud, annoying sounds can occur nearly anywhere. Homes near a bustling city, highway, construction zone or loud pets are subjected to unwanted sounds. Noise reducing windows help minimize annoying, unwanted sounds that occur outside your home. While no windows are completely soundproof, there are several steps you can take to improve the sound resistance in your home. As cities become louder and noise pollution increases, more homeowners are looking for ways to create a serene environment in their home. To show how much of an impact noise-reducing windows can have on a home, we set up a sound-reducing room with Pella Lifestyle Series windows in the heart of Grand Central Station in New York City.
How Do Noise Reducing Windows Work?
Noises travel in two different ways — through the air and through materials. They are measured in two ways — by Sound Transmission Class (STC) and Outdoor/Indoor Transmission Class (OITC). Today, most standard insulating windows have STC ratings around 26. These dual-pane windows feature two panes of 3mm glass. By adding more windowpanes, there are more layers of insulation which helps to dampen outside noises.
Noise reducing windows work by slowing the transfer of sound waves, which makes them seem quieter. As sound waves travel through different materials, the waves can be absorbed, reflected or minimized. In windows, this can be done by optimizing the air space, mixing the thicknesses of glass or by adding additional panes of glass. This selection process of these different features for a window is critical to the performance of sound reduction. Using high-quality materials, such as lab-tested weatherstripping on the windows, is also a proven way to ensure proper performance. However, it is more than window features that help support noise reduction. One of the other most important elements of the window performance is installation. Proper installation helps ensure airtight seals as well as helping keep the noise out. From choosing the window attributes along with ensuring proper installation, working with a Pella expert can help make this process simple and easy to understand.
Soundproof Glass Options
There are several glass options that can help reduce the amount of noise in your home. The first, most common option, is to upgrade your windows from a single-pane design to a dual- or triple-pane design. Another similar option is to choose a mixed millimeter glass design. When different glass thicknesses are paired, they help dampen different sounds at different frequencies.
Pella Lifestyle Series windows offer an optional Sound Control package, reducing sounds by 52% more than single-pane windows.46 These windows have been recognized and awarded the Quiet Mark Certification in recognition of our outstanding acoustic performance and excellence for certain Pella Lifestyle Series Sound Control Package products.53 Pella is the first and only window manufacturer in the United States to be awarded this seal.52
Comparing Single-Pane, Double-Pane and Triple-Pane Windows
As you add panes of glass to a window’s design, the amount of noise that is able to travel through is reduced. Single-pane windows have the least amount of materials to slow sound waves, so they allow the most noise into your home. Dual-pane windows, also called double-pane windows, help to reduce some noise. Triple-pane glass is the best option for reducing the most noise. In fact, Pella Lifestyle Series triple-pane windows with optional sound control package reduce 52% more noise than single pane windows.46 Exceptional energy efficiency and sound control are important elements to making the right selection with your window purchase. The triple-pane option helps keep your bedroom quiet, creates a barrier so nap time isn't interrupted, or minimizes the sound of your neighbor's barking dog.
By replacing your windows with noise reduction windows from Pella, you can help create a relaxing environment for your home.